Blows Against the Empire [Expanded Edition]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
As concept albums go from the classic rock era, Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner and his new construction Jefferson Starship -- an amalgam more than a band at the time -- put together a true curiosity piece, loosely centered around the theme of young people leaving a dead planet. With the birth of Grace Slick's and Kantner's child on the way to add the flavor of "newness" into the mix, Blows is certainly an oddity. Kantner and Slick formed the core of the band with help from Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead, David Crosby and Graham Nash from CS&N, and alternating bassists Jack Casady Jefferson Airplane and Harvey Brooks. Kantner...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
As concept albums go from the classic rock era, Blows Against the Empire by Paul Kantner and his new construction Jefferson Starship -- an amalgam more than a band at the time -- put together a true curiosity piece, loosely centered around the theme of young people leaving a dead planet. With the birth of Grace Slick's and Kantner's child on the way to add the flavor of "newness" into the mix, Blows is certainly an oddity. Kantner and Slick formed the core of the band with help from Jerry Garcia, Bill Kreutzman and Mickey Hart from the Grateful Dead, David Crosby and Graham Nash from CS&N, and alternating bassists Jack Casady Jefferson Airplane and Harvey Brooks. Kantner and Slick wrote the majority of the songs here, but folkie Rosalie Sorrels contributed "The Baby Tree." Crosby and the rest also wrote some of the tunes, making the entire thing seem like a raw, impromptu communal effort -- which, in a sense, it was. Entirely at odd angles with itself, some of the Airplane's more modal melodies haunt songs like "Mau Mau Amerikon," and "Hijack," while Slick, Crosby, and Kantner's "A Child Is Coming" is simply a beautiful, slightly surreal ballad, while odd, textured sounds come from the ether -- mainly courtesy of Garcia's otherworldly pedal steel. A record like this could only have come from San Francisco. It was actually nominated for a Hugo award, a prize normally reserved for literary science-fiction novels. The Legacy Edition contains four bonus tracks including an alternate of "Let's Go Together," with different lyrics, Slick's acoustic demo of "Sunrise," an acoustic demo of "Hijack" by Kantner, an elongated live version of "Starship," from the Fillmore in 1970, and a throwaway piece entitled "SFX" by Garcia and Hart. The sound has been remastered and the CD packaging contains a replica of the original booklet that accompanied the original set. While Blows eventually went gold, it's hard to surmise at this juncture whether this reissue will find an audience, because of its dated sounds, songs, and concepts Still, it is a singular if shambolic work of ambition and vision.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/13/2005
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 828766797428
  • Catalog Number: 67974

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Mau Mau (Amerikon) - Jefferson Starship (6:37)
  2. 2 The Baby Tree - Jefferson Starship (1:44)
  3. 3 Let's Go Together - Jefferson Starship (4:23)
  4. 4 A Child Is Coming - Jefferson Starship (6:19)
  5. 5 Sunrise - Jefferson Starship (1:53)
  6. 6 Hijack - Jefferson Starship (8:17)
  7. 7 Home - Jefferson Starship (0:36)
  8. 8 Have You Seen the Stars Tonight? - Jefferson Starship (3:43)
  9. 9 X-M - Jefferson Starship (1:24)
  10. 10 Starship - Jefferson Starship (7:07)
  11. 11 Let's Go Together - Jefferson Starship (4:22)
  12. 12 Sunrise - Jefferson Starship (1:21)
  13. 13 Hijack - Jefferson Starship (7:02)
  14. 14 SFX - Jefferson Starship (2:04)
  15. 15 Starship - Jefferson Starship (13:04)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Paul Kantner Primary Artist, Banjo, Bass, Guitar, Vocals, Machines
Mickey Hart Percussion, Drums, Track Performer
Crosby & Nash Guitar, Vocals
Jerry Garcia Banjo, Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Track Performer
Jorma Kaukonen Guitar
Graham Nash Percussion, Conga, Background Vocals
Grace Slick Piano, Keyboards, Vocals
Joey Covington Percussion, Conga, Drums
Peter Kaukonen Guitar
Jack Casady Bass
David Crosby Guitar, Background Vocals
David Freiberg Background Vocals
Bill Kreutzmann Drums
Phil Sawyer Track Performer
Harusy Brooks Bass
Technical Credits
Rosalie Sorrels Composer
Mickey Hart Composer
Marty Balin Composer
Jerry Garcia Composer
Grace Slick Composer
Joey Covington Composer
Paul Kantner Composer, Producer, Liner Notes, Audio Production
David Crosby Composer
Jud Cost Liner Notes
Bob Irwin Reissue Producer
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
Vic Anesini Mastering
Gary Blackman Composer
Paul "PK" Kelly Libretto Design
Bill Thompson Creative Consultant
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 2.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A super-group that made a super sci-fi concept album

    Member of Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, along with Crosby/Nash and others participated in creating this wonderful Science Fiction album about leaving earth to start a new life. A truly great album and one that should not be missed by the fans of any of the groups involved. This is a Paul Kantner project that names this collaboration group "Jefferson Starship" but it should not be confused with the post-Airplane group of that name.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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